CEO of Property.ca Resigns Following Offensive Facebook Comments
The CEO of property.ca, a Toronto-based real estate listings website, has stepped down from his position as the face of the company after making a series of controversial Facebook comments from his personal account.
Earlier this month, Carl Langschmidt, who also founded Condos.ca and was previously a realtor with Royal LePage, had posted a number of responses in a long comment thread on a Facebook post made by a Toronto realtor that encouraged supporting local Black-owned businesses.
In a statement provided to Toronto Storeys, property.ca confirmed that Langschmidt had stepped down from his role as CEO following the series of online exchanges, which were not representative of the company’s values. In turn, CTO Bayan Qandil was appointed Interim CEO.
“The move is a clear message to the market that property.ca embraces diversity, equality, and inclusion, without exception. Langschmidt made a significant contribution and will maintain a role of founder and advisor,” reads the statement.
Below are a number of screenshots of Langschmidt’s comments that were provided to Toronto Storeys.
Throughout the exchanges, Langschmidt is referred to as both racist and sexist for the comments he made, which his property.ca colleague, Alexia Lewis, says is not an accurate representation of who he is.
“How do you judge someone based on snippets? It’s insulting. Carl is nowhere near a racist. It’s insulting to me on every level,” said Lewis, a Black sales representative with the company.
“Racism and sexism do not live within our company, and definitely not in Carl’s world.”
Lewis believes those involved in the Facebook exchange misread his comments and, rather than have a discussion with Langschmidt, were quick to judge and strip away his character, painting him as someone he’s not. She went on to explain to Toronto Storeys that Langschmidt can be heated when discussing social issues, but he’s always trying to learn and to seek change.
“It’s unfortunate that a discussion that could have easily been handled privately quickly became public and ended up having a life-altering impact.”
Lewis added that it’s particularly frustrating for her and the other colleagues who stand behind Langschmidt because this isn’t a proper representation of his character or who he is as a person.
“They don’t know how generous and gifted he is. He’s not only created a system that’s brought billions of dollars into the community but he and his wife are also the founders of Aurora House, which provides community-based housing and support services for women harmed from human trafficking.”
Emotions are high right now, particularly toward the Black community, and Lewis says while she does believe this wasn’t the right time or the place for this kind of discussion, she is still disappointed to see how things ended for Langschmidt.
Lewis said Black agents at property.ca were not consulted by the board members or asked how they felt about Langschmidt’s resignation. “If we were, our response would have been that he shouldn’t step down, but instead, issue a statement.”
“From the beginning, Carl had discussions with employees, including me and Brendon [Brendon Cowans, another Black real estate agent at property.ca] about how he was very upset over the injustice with George Floyd, and that police need to be in sensitivity training, and when the conversation evolved into history and black folks etc., it did involve what we’re doing in the community for people and what we can do better.”
“It’s just really unfortunate that a few people took his comments out of context instead of listening and having a discussion, said Lewis, adding, “because everyone here at property.ca has equal opportunities and the chance to be successful regardless of their background, skin colour, or sexual identity.”
The resignation comes just days after Toronto broker, “Condo Chris” Borkowski was fired from Right At Home Realty after a Twitter post in which he called NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh a “Kalistani terrorist.”
Toronto Storeys reached out to Carl Langschmidt for a comment but had not heard back at the time of publication.